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First Check now a member of the International Fact-Checking Network

Published on Mon 15 Mar 2021 at 08:34

First Check, the health fact-checking initiative of Health Analytics Asia, is now a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, USA.

As a pioneer in its health fact-checking, First Check run by Health Analytics Asia at DataLEADS is now a signatory of International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). Joining the ranks of 85 IFCN signatories, this recognition is the result of an independent, external assessment for compliance with an exhaustive list of criteria that test commitment to five basic principles – Non-partisanship and Fairness, Standards and Transparency of Sources, Transparency of Funding and Organization, Standards and Transparency of Methodology, and Open and Honest Corrections policy.

Established in 2015 at Poynter Institute, IFCN is a forum for fact-checkers worldwide to support fact-checking initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges.

“We’re honoured to join the IFCN as a verified signatory,” said Syed Nazakat, Founder of DataLEADS, a parent organisation of Health Analytics Asia. “Fact-checking matters, now more than ever. This signatory status will strengthen our First Check initiative as a step ahead in our effort to collaborate more deeply with technologists, data scientists and doctors to combat mis- and disinformation.”

First Check has been at the forefront of the fight against health misinformation by collaborating with doctors, public health experts and media professionals from across Asia. The team verifies, debunks dubious and misleading claims and myths related to public health, medicine and vaccination, relying on the latest online verification tools and approaches.

As a pioneer in its health fact-checking, First Check is led by deputy editor, Nabeela Khan and the team consists of an oncologist, a paediatrician, an endocrinologist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, public health researchers, patient advocates, virologists and infection disease specialists, data scientists and several public health specialists from 12 countries across Asia.

The DataLEADS team has been building collaboration with medical and public health professionals since 2015. It was in 2015 when we first invited a group of 20 journalists and an equal number of doctors together at our first data boot camp in India’s northern Himalayan region, Kashmir. The initiative has now become a pan-Asia unique cross-disciplinary health fact-checking collaboration network.

Last year our annual summit brought 620+ participants and delegates – policymakers, government officials, WHO team members, health journalists, fact-checkers and public health specialists – joining from across 55+ countries.

Update: Correction in byline.